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Wagon Wednesday: 1995 Chevrolet Caprice Classic

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Last month, we drove to the nearby town for some burgers and a stroll around the snowy streets. The burgers there are a good enough reason to drive over, and taking a couple casual photos of this Caprice wagon fit the picture.

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Weekend Edition: The 1989-1993 Honda Accord Coupé

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In the follow-up to last post’s third generation Honda Accord coupé, you can see the fourth generation car tread similar water as the Acura-branded cars. Especially in sandy beige with frying pan wheels, the newer coupe manages to look somehow Legend-like. Not legend-ary, as that would have stolen sales from the bigger coupe relative, right?

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Weekend Edition: The 1987-1989 Honda Accord Coupé

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It took until today for me to become aware of the late-’80s Honda Accord Coupé. Call me a slowpoke, but somehow the attractive, two-door bigger brother of the Prelude had eluded my sights so far. I certainly knew about the Aerodeck, as they sold the weird two-door wagonback here, pop-ups and all, but the coupe version designed exclusively for the US market is even better. It was only available for three model years, as the saloon arrived already for 1985 and was due for replacement in ’89.

This post runs through some of the most attractive angles of this car.

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Volvo brings out the classics for a 2017 V90 promo shot

Antti Kautonen February 18, 2016 Nostalgia

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It’s pretty clear Volvo wants the new V90 to stand on the shoulders of giants: in this promotional shot, the new car is parked next to the Duett, the Amazon, the 1800ES, the 240, the 740 and the 850 T-5 R. The rear end isn’t quite as vertical as on most of the old boxes, or the recent V70:s, but the car is still quite obviously a Volvo wagon – more so than the V40:s, V50:s and V60:s.

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Sprint in the Slush: 1988 Alfa Romeo Sprint Quadrifoglio Verde

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What do you think would be the kind of car least likely to be seen daily driven in a salted, slushy environment? Anything Italian, knocking on 30 years would be a likely answer, and seeing this Alfa Romeo Sprint parked at a mall was certainly weird. Kudos to the owner for keeping it going, no matter what it takes.

The Sprint was born under the Alfasud program, and it was developed further to tie in with the successor, the 33. It survived until 1989, but was not renewed when the 33 was redesigned.

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Is the 1990s Nissan Pulsar the most boring car turned interesting?

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A friend of mine has a pretty straight-forward approach towards commuter cars. For winter, his idea is to buy the Nissan Sunny that offers the most value for his money – namely, the longest valid inspection for the least initial cash. He will then proceed to drive the car to the ground or until the road legality inspection runs out, whichever comes first. The idea has been taken as far as to create a currency based on Nissan Sunny values: since beater Nissans are so plentiful here, they can be bought for simply a couple hundred euros. If I suggest another, more expensive car for his winterbeater duties, he’ll most likely respond “But that’s at least a couple Sunny’s worth.” It’s also noteworthy he’s taken a liking to the rounded N14 shape Sunny saloon, as they are more disposable than the already-cool, sharply designed ’80s ones. The underbody is usually quite rusty and the rear wheelarches and wheelwells have as much Bondo in them as is physically possible.

But, in addition to churning out soulless 1.4-litre Sunnys by the boatload in several countries, Nissan also created the GTI-R version from the three-door hatchback. Under the bulging hood was a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine producing 227 horsepower and distributing it to all four wheels by an ATTESA all-wheel-drive system. It could reach 60 mph in five seconds something and hit 140mph, which is certainly far removed from the humdrum family saloon’s abilities. It could well be the biggest single turnaround within one model series, especially considering the bodyshell is still very much a regular-issue Sunny, albeit surely strengthened.

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Dumpy Weekend Edition: The Volvo 300-series is a different box on wheels

Antti Kautonen February 7, 2016 Weekend Edition

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The Volvo 300-series was born from a Dutch design, the car that was supposed to become the Daf 77. The daffodil bloomed in a Swedish glasshouse, as Volvo bought a large percentage of the Dutch manufacturer’s automobile division in 1973 and brought the car to the market by 1976. It was still a very much Daf design underneath, with the Variomatic CVT system the company pioneered.

The car managed to be built until the 1990s, and in that time it matured quite a bit.

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Dumpy Weekend Edition: The Saab 96 looks best in brown

Antti Kautonen February 7, 2016 Weekend Edition

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Could this be the best-looking promotional image of the Saab 96? The earthy brown suits the duck-billed late model car so very well. Browsing through these shots, I am just imagining how it would have felt like to drive around the nordic fields in a factory fresh little Saab.

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Dumpy Weekend Edition: Liking the Austin Allegro is difficult

Antti Kautonen February 7, 2016 Weekend Edition

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The Austin Allegro brings to mind Jalopnik’s Jason Torchinsky and his review of the German Hoffman car. In the video review, he concludes that every possible decision taken while designing the vehicle has been the absolute wrong one. That might not be the case with the Allegro, but it is difficult to follow the thought process where this design has been the end result. This was the best they could agree on.

But still, there’s something about the dumpy, wilfully ugly blob that I find endearing. It’s perfectly easy to liken it to a bulldog with some deeply regrettable genetic faults, but every dog has its day.

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The 1994 Toyota Camry Coupe and the 1976 Mercedes-Benz 280CE are virtually the same thing

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Mercedes-Benz unveiled their W123 body cars 40 years ago, in late January 1976. The coupe version, carrying the model code C 123, followed suit in the spring months, and despite having a very attractive hardtop coupe roof, both the front end and the rear matched the saloon’s design. With Mercedes-Benz coupes of yesteryear, this is not unheard-of, but the 123 series makes it clear how high the manufacturer rated a familiar look throughout the body style. The succeeding W124/C124 pair at least tried to disguise the latter as a more slimline effort, but the C123 treads similar water as the Bertone-chopped Volvo 262 C.

But if you were shopping for a new car some fifteen years later, and also wanted a saloon-derived coupe with a six up front – yet one that didn’t stray too far from the saloon’s lines? The obvious choice would be the mid-1990s Toyota Camry Coupe. Obvious, I tell you.

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